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Wirehouse to Independent then NY to SC

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Jan 11, 2015 3:51 pm

I am working on a plan to leave my Wirehouse and move my clients to Independent.  Probably LPL, but I'm still doing my homework.

I've been in the business for over 20 years and had a great book until I switched firms and went from a regional firm managing $60million and only ported over $30million.  In hindsight it was a bad move, with bad timing.  I can't look back, but I can look ahead.  My current goal is to leave my current firm and go to and Independent.  I don't want my own office, so I'm looking to join a group.  One offer so far is to work for an LPL office with 20 other reps.

I have 40million AUM now with annual gross of $180k.  I expect I can move my core clients of $30million and start growing from there.  My current mix is commission/ fee based at about a 80/20 ratio.  My recent focus is to convert more commission clients to fee based.  I feel this should help my transition.

An additional twist to this move is to also move my business down to Charleston, SC area.  I'm 50 yo. and I want to work another 20 years in this business, but not in NY.  I want to try to move my business over the next 12 months to my indy brand here in NY to best transition my clients, then head south.  I have my brother here in NY, so I can stay with him if I need to come back North to see clients.

The other choice is to skip the 12month hitch in NY and just head to SC now.

So complex, but any help or advice would be appreciated.

Mar 6, 2015 6:22 pm

I noticed you had not received a comment on this post from a while back, so I thought I would throw my two cents in just in case you hadn’t made a decision yet. If it were me, I would utilize the transition period of 12 months to capture as much of the current book as you can. If you have solid relationships, the clients will follow. However, the firm that you join is almost the largest factor in my mind. Find a firm that can offer significant operational support (real support, not just ‘transition paperwork’) so that you don’t have to stress on that when you’re meeting with clients. Also, find a firm that can offer your clients some form of a benefit, so that you can position value-added to the clients (rather than just a lateral move from their perspective). You could potentially use this change as a catalyst to move clients more toward fee-based (which could serve as a strong benefit to them) - especially if you’re looking to make this change anyway. Congratulations on the decision and think you’ll love it. One more thing, I’d work to establish your own brand - I wouldn’t use an LPL or a ‘producer group brand’. Your clients are working with you, and I’d guess they’d be excited for you to create your own firm. If I can be a resource for you in any capacity, please feel free to reach out at any time. Best of luck to you in your new venture.

Mar 10, 2015 3:24 pm

Everything Steve said is right on point! I would use every day of that 12 months and I would use it to make my own “brand”. I went LPL because I am in NY and they seem to be the biggest player around my area for independents. My clients probably don’t even know who LPL is since I made my own LLC to do business under. If you do choose to go that route, some things I would caution about. First, do not use your name in the new “company”. That makes it harder to sell in 20 years and lowers the value (at least it did when I worked at Morgan and was helping value books to buy). From what I have heard, advisors used to use their last name to allow their clients an easy way to find them once they left to get around non competes. In today technology, that isn’t an issue. Secondly, I would be a little concerned about joining an office with 20 others that all have different names on their doors and such. We have several “super” offices like that here and I couldn’t see myself doing that. I found one rep that was actually retiring, moved into their office and had them “partner” in my new “firm”. This allow clients to see that he/we were expanding (when really we weren’t).

All in all, I’ve read some of Steve’s comments and he is very sharp. If he can’t help (which I highly doubt) I am more then willing to offer any assistance I can!

p.s. Hit them straight down in SC!!

Apr 12, 2015 5:56 pm

As a follow-up point to @indy with respect to naming the practice, depending on the target makeup of your book, you might consider using keywords such as retirement, income, etc. in the company name. This could help the organization place in the various search engines. Not just Google, but IAPD/BrokerCheck, etc.